Gauthier Soho: Elegant French Fine Dining in Soho
I was thrilled to bits when I found out we were going to dinner at Gauthier Soho. I’m always excited at the prospect expanding my repertoire of French food given my relatively late start in discovering it.
Upon arriving, I found myself in front of what appeared to be a posh townhouse right in the middle of
Soho. You ring the doorbell and then are welcomed inside and led upstairs passing various rooms on different levels till you’re seated at your table. The subdued lighting creates a romantic dreamy atmosphere and discrete service is provided by an army of waiters all who are quite charming and I’m pretty sure have jobs as male models during the day.
It took some time to peruse the menu simply because it’s remarkably flexible – you can opt for 3 courses for 30£, 4 for £40, 5 for £50 and a tasting menu for £70. We ended up choosing the 4 course option and my dinner companion urged me to try the pan-fried Foie Gras and I’m so glad I did – it was sublime. Delicate yet decadent, it was served with a mango compote which help cut through the merichness.
Then came the fish course and I had a fillet of Cornish Red Mullet with a Grilled Scallop, Fennel and Tomato, served with a Black Olive and Red Wine Fish Velouté. The flavours were subtle and came together harmoniously. My companion’s dish of Atlantic Halibut with Artichoke, Asparagus, Basil and Pesto was a bit pale in comparison and could have done with more flavour.
My third course of New Season Lamb was absolutely divine. It was served in 3 ways: Pan Fried Loin, Roasted Lamb Chops and a brisket of Braised shoulder. The braised shoulder was cooked for 48 hours in cardamom and other spices and was gorgeous. Again I think my dish totally overshadowed my companion’s dish of “55 days Aged” Pork with Artichoke and Grelot Onions which ended up tasting a bit too rich and fatty. I really lucked out that night with my choices!
|3rd course: New Season Lamb|
For dessert, he chose the cheese course and got to sample several fine specimens of cheese while I went for their signature dessert – the Golden Louise XV created by the chef Alexis Gauthier. Dark Chocolate Mousse on a crunchy Praline covered in casing of dark chocolate marked with gold leaf. Only for the most serious of chocolate lovers it was rich and decadent. A bit too much chocolate overload for me but at this point I was in too deep and ended up finishing every bite of it.
Oh in case you are vegetarian, fear not - they appear to be accommodating and there is even a tasting menu showcased for vegetarians. Interestingly, all the dishes on the menu are listed with their calorie count – which I promptly ignored. I’d much rather live in denial when indulging like this!
Comparing it to my other French fine dining experience at L‘Autre Pied. I cannot find fault with the food. Gauthier serves more classic dishes than L’Autre which has bit more creative flair to its dishes. The only difference would perhaps be the atmosphere – Gauthier has a rather subdued, stately formal air to it compared to L’Autre Pied which has a younger, casual feel.
Gauthier Soho reminded me of my experience at Koffman’s at the Berkley Hotel. However at Koffman’s every single dish was exceptional and each dish blew me away while at Gauthier there were one or two like the pork and Halibut that weren’t quite up to the mark. Nonetheless it is quite a high mark that I am comparing it to and on the whole, my French gastronomic feast at Gauthier Soho was a very enjoyable experience.
21 Romilly Street London W1d 5AF
Tel: 0207 494 3111
Tube: Piccadilly Circus